Yes, Trump compared himself to Mandela. Seriously. It’s not too bad

Comment || United States: Comparing yourself to Mandela is unhealthy, egotistical and outrageous, but it’s far from the most ridiculous thing this president has ever said.

The most outrageous thing Trump has ever said was his comparison to Mandela

This week, at a campaign stop in New Hampshire, former President Donald Trump compared himself to Nelson Mandela.

Jill Filipovic

Yes, a man born into a wealthy family whose companies have yet to declare bankruptcy, who has been accused of sexual harassment and abuse, who has fueled racial and ethnic divisions, and who has tried to subvert governance structures and ethics and democratic Americans. Whenever he can, he now faces 91 felony charges in various jurisdictions, comparing himself to a man who risked his life to end apartheid and establish democratic rule in South Africa, eventually becoming the country’s first president and a global icon. For all who believe in equality and democracy. (Trump has denied any wrongdoing in the allegations against him).

It doesn’t take much history to know that Trump is not Nelson Mandela. And anyone with the gall and gigantic ego to compare themselves to Nelson Mandela probably isn’t Nelson Mandela.

For any other president, such hyper-narcissistic comments would be a huge liability. For Trump, they’re the norm — and his followers, confusingly, seem to be buying it.

Trump drew comparisons to Mandela as he faces several criminal charges that he says are politically motivated. “I don’t mind being Nelson Mandela because I’m doing it for a reason,” he told his New Hampshire audience. Mandela, of course, was arrested for his pro-democracy activism; He spent 27 years as a political prisoner fighting against the world’s most brutal apartheid regime. He won the presidency in South Africa’s first free, fair and democratic election.

Instead, Trump faces charges of attempting to subvert free and fair democratic elections. Some of his former accomplices would testify against him, and some pleaded guilty to save themselves from even harsher consequences. This week, former Trump lawyer and “enforcer” Michael Cohen will testify in Trump’s civil fraud trial. Three of his former lawyers have pleaded guilty to charges related to efforts to sway the 2020 election.

This is not the biography of a pro-democracy nationalist who fights against the violent system of forced apartheid.

Trump has not behaved in a manner that could be described as “politician” since leaving office. He continues to perpetuate the big lie that the 2020 election was stolen, a completely false claim that feeds his ego and fuels his base, but which seriously undermines public confidence in the workings of American democracy.

The contrast between Trump and former President Barack Obama is instructive: While Obama used his platform to praise America and make thoughtful statements in times of global crisis, Trump used it to insult Americans who believed he had wronged him and make completely unbalanced statements.

In the wake of Hamas’ horrific terrorist attacks against Israeli civilians and Israel’s devastating war in Gaza, Obama issued a statement condemning Hamas, standing in solidarity with Israelis, reaffirming Israel’s right to defend itself, and urging Israel to protect many innocent Palestinian lives. as much as possible.

Early on, he attacked former President Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who was caught off guard by Hamas attacks and deemed Hezbollah terrorists “very intelligent.” But after facing criticism even among members of his own party, Trump has said he stands with Israel and has pledged to renew his infamous travel ban and extend it to people from the Palestinian territory of Gaza.

The former president, at this point, is known for making blatantly false, disturbingly grandiose and deeply inhumane comments that range from offensive to delusional.

By 2020, enough Americans had kicked him out of the White House and he was fed up. Still, his loyal, almost cult-like supporters continue to support him, apparently determined to prove Trump’s claim that “he can stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone and he won’t lose voters.”

Comparing himself to Mandela is unhealthy, selfless and outrageous, but far from the most ridiculous thing this president has ever said. And it may not lose a single voter. But it shows once again how anxiously tolerant a wide swath of the American electorate is to a man who has repeatedly demonstrated that he cares more about himself (and his own wealth and power) than anyone else. of the nation.

A malignant narcissist in charge is not good for a country. It is not good to have a president who chooses self-respect, self-pity, and sense of government. It’s a shame that most of America didn’t learn this lesson the first time around.

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